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SneakerHead Culture

August 4, 2015       Within Reach
Sneakerhead Culture
Hip-Hop Kids and Hoops Fans Make
Limited Edition Basketball Sneakers
a Sellers' AfterMarket

You play hoops?  Or used to when you were younger but could not afford a pair of Air Jordans?  Are you overwhelmed by the number of amazing limited edition sneakers, both new and retro versions, out there right now that you can get for the right price?  Now that you have a job, would you invest and trade in the limited edition athletic shoe aftermarket?

Only 20 when he entered the NBA, Michael Jordan shows
off his first pair of Nike Air Jordans.  These sneakers now cost
a good bundle on the aftermarket for surviving pairs from
that era, although retro re-issues still sell at a high markup.

Sneakerheads are people who are devoted to the hobby of collecting sports sneakers, usually basketball shoes endorsed by superstar athletes.  These people invest heavily in name brands and spend good money collecting rare sneakers and athletic footwear.  Sporting an Imelda Marcos collection like ladies and celebrities do, is where it's at for Sneakerheads.  Some make money off an aftermarket of online sales while others just revel in the ownership of the modern day precious artifact--the limited edition athletic shoe.

Sneakerheads collect limited edition or one-of-a-kind basketball sneakers, items some anthropologists cal a modern 'precious artifact.'  Most look to profit from reselling parts of their collection in the future to an online aftermarket.  They tend to hold on to certain sneaker versions until prices dramatically increase when stocks of the shoes run out at retail shops.  Speculators buy at cost then sell at double to quadruple.  Most sneakerheads  just want to show off that they own a pair as part of the hip-hop or thrasher music subculture they subscribe to.

Mostly male and in their early 20s, sneakerheads camp outside a specialist chain retailer like Footlocker and buy the latest LeBron sneaker.  They line up the way iMac/iPhone addicts and Blizzard Starcraft/Diablo gaming fans camp outside a shop when a new product release is announced.  Some hoard as many pairs they can afford if they foresee a profitable aftermarket.  Particulalry of the player endorsing the limited edition sneaker is having a peak career or is part of an NBA championship team.  Profits range anywhere between $500 and $900 for a sneaker that was selling for $250 retail.

Video is all rights reserved to WooHooligan channel on You Tube

Many Pinoys put together video blogs of their Sneakerhead
collection  and have tips on how to put together a good
inventory or a personal locker of togs.

Sneakerheads are risk-taking entrepreneurs who gamble on possible demand and rarity of any particular sneaker.  They form a part of a small economy where sneaker data is gathered and posted on specialist blogs like Campless which is used as a grade guide and price guide by various buyers, sellers and collectors, as well as brokers and third-party valuation services.  You would think of the sneaker trading system to be just like the comic book collector market in the 80s and early 90s except that new sneakers are more expensive that any first printing modern comic book (80s and later).

Josh Luber, 36, of Campless has compiled data on more than 13 million eBay auctions since 2012 and posted a grading system and price guide on Campless.  The site tracks the prices of more than 1,100 pairs of collectible sneakers — that is, sneakers that sell aftermarket at prices above their initial retail value.

One of the most popular retro-Jordans, the Air Jordan 11.  This one
is a low-cut version of the hi-top  basketball sneaker.

Nike is projected to make $30 billion in sales this year. With their breakthrough marketing of THE limited edition sneaker, the athletic footwear company helped form a secondary market that gets sneakerhead investors earning plenty of money for a vanity product never before seen.  The lasting power of the Jordan brand allows Nike to re-release ALL the classic Air Jordans (models 1 through 14) over and over again. The Air Jordan 11, for example, has been released some 40 times over nearly 20 years — in different colors.  Surprisingly, sneakerhead kids line up for those limited edition releases every weekend at U.S. athletic footwear shops for years and pay good money to scoop every pair they can get.

The Air Jordan Retro basketball sneaker.  One of the more expensive
and sought after collectibles among old school Sneakerheads.

Image Credit: Adidas used for review purposes only
Crowd-favorite superstars like Derrick Rose from the
Chicago Bulls have also benefited from the Sneakerhead
phenomenon, getting a new shoe design every year as
part of a series while they are active professional players.

Sneakers are now one of the most sought after status symbols for street fashion conscious, urbanites.  And the online sneakerhead aftermarket inflates the cost of a limited edition basketball shoe: which allows people who own one to feel like they own some artisan find from the gilded age. 

Sneakerheads may just have the same egos of fashionista ladies who don a luxury high fashion shoe and collect them too.   The difference is that when you buy ANY haute couture item: it's worth less the moment you walk out of the store.  Nike sneakers still fetch a gorgeous price in the online sneakerhead aftermarket. In the future, market trendwatchers project Nike to hike the price of its new and retro Air Jordans 10 percent to 15 percent in the future:  saying that higher-quality materials are being used to make the older builds more like their original versions.  This makes any aftermarket product still valuable and wearable a loong time after it becomes available.

Video is all rights reserved to Jason Donnar channel
on You Tube.
A look at a special edition Nike Lebron X Cork sneaker.  This
is one of them must-have Championship-series shoes of NBA
superstar Lebron James.

For kids who missed out on their favorite basketball superstar shoes because they could not afford them as kids---coming of age and holding a job gets them the chance to splurge on their favorite dream sneakers.  And the cycle goes on and on.  For as long as eveyone is crazy about the NBA and other professional sports, hip-hop fashion and cool streetwear.  Filipinos especially.


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